Carpal tunnel syndrome may strike anyone, male or female and can give them sleepless nights. If you want to protect yourself from this painful condition, read this Buzzle article for a few easy preventive tips.
The Carpal Tunnel is a narrow tunnel on the palm side of the wrist, enclosed with bones and muscles of the palm. The median nerve and tendons that aid in the movement of the fingers, except the little finger, pass through this tunnel.
The median nerve has sensory as well as motor functions. It provides sensation to the thumb, index, and middle finger and the middle-finger-side of the ring finger. The median nerve also carries nerve signals that initiate muscle movements. If this nerve is subjected to undue pressure or friction, it can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Initially, the problem may manifest itself as pain in the wrist and palm, however, it may progress, if these symptoms are left untreated, to a point where the patient may feel weak and lose the ability to feel hot and cold sensation. The worst affected parts are the index, middle, and the ring finger. The treatment for this condition may include, either or a combination of surgery, exercises, and splints.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Computer Users and Typists
Correct posture is helpful in preventing this syndrome. Both, computer users and typists should sit with their back resting against the back of the chair.
- While working, you must see to it that your shoulders are relaxed and elbows are at the side of the body.
- While typing, it is necessary to maintain the wrists and palms in a straight position. The fingers should droop and hover over the keyboard while typing.
- If you form an angle at the junction that connects your wrists to your palms, then it is a clear indication that you need to change your typing style.
- Position the typing material at the eye level, so that you can read it very easily by moving only your eyes. This will save you from craning your neck in order to read it.
- Effectiveness of the nerves in the arms and neck can be preserved by maintaining your head upright and relaxing your neck. This will also maintain the circulation of blood in this area.
Most of the posture related injuries result from poorly designed furniture. Contoured furniture should be avoided if you have posture related problems. Your desk should be suitable for your height. The height of the chair should be adjusted according to the desk as well as your comfort level.
You can use voice recognition software, which can allow you to use computers in a hands-free fashion.
Tips for Keyboard and Mouse Use
Computer users can use keyboards such as (Microsoft and Apple), which facilitate the adjustment of the tension of the keys, so that your fingers are not stressed while using the keys. It is a good idea to use a slanted keyboard or even keyboards with wrist-rests. Both the approaches help maintain your wrists in a neutral position i.e., there is no angle between your hand and wrist.
To reduce shoulder muscle movements, keep the mouse and keyboard closer, and use the mouse gently. Use a mouse rest to prevent excessive stress on the wrist.
Exercises involving hands, wrists, and fingers can help you in relieving muscle pain. If you are presently experiencing mild pain or stress on your fingers and wrist, then you should warm up a bit before starting your work. While you are giving your best to finish the work, it is recommended that you should take at least a 5 minutes break after every 1 hour. It is easy to prevent this disease, if you follow the right method and observe correct work habits.